Monday, 8 August 2011

Fun with body parts

A fun little 4th level necromancer spell for your entertainment...

The rest of this post is designated Open Gaming Content according to the Open Gaming License.

Detach / Graft
Level: 4
Duration: See below
Range: Touch

Casting this spell and touching a body part causes it to detach from its owner, who can then control the part as an independent entity. Thus hands may crawl around, legs may hop, and even heads can be detached and rolled. The detached body part can be controlled for up to 1 turn per level of the caster, after which it must be retrieved and reattached to the body (which happens automatically). If the body part is not reattached during the spell's duration it dies.

Using the reverse version, graft, body parts lost in any way may be replaced either by reattaching the missing part or by grafting on replacement parts cut from another living or recently dead creature. The graft is permanent, but the recipient (which may be the caster himself) must make a transformative shock roll. If the roll fails the graft does not take, and will wither and fall off in 1d6 weeks.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks Gavin, this sounds fun.
    Oh my, the questions they will have...

    If my left-handed Necromancer wins a bet and trades left arms with the party fighter (Str 18), do I get a damage bonus with my dagger?

    How many octopus tentacles can I attach to an empty shoulder nub?

    If I memorize Detach twice and Graft twice, then can I switch Beezle's head with Zedrah's while they are sleeping?

    Do I need to graft in both the Medusa's eyes, or is one enough for the stone gaze?

    So, lets say I detach Jeff's head and graft it onto the headless troll body. Will his head gain regeneration too, or will a new troll head grow back INSIDE Jeff's head and kill him?

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  2. Haha, excellent questions :)

    I really like these kind of spells that are open to a lot of creative interpretation by the players / DM!

    Just for fun, if players in my game tried those things, my answers would be:

    If my left-handed Necromancer wins a bet and trades left arms with the party fighter (Str 18), do I get a damage bonus with my dagger?
    Yes, but you'd have to keep training the arm to maintain the unusual muscle mass. This may entail an XP penalty, as the necromancer spends his time doing non-wizardly things.

    How many octopus tentacles can I attach to an empty shoulder nub?
    4 normal, one giant. I'd probably add an extra rejection chance for cross-species grafting.

    If I memorize Detach twice and Graft twice, then can I switch Beezle's head with Zedrah's while they are sleeping?
    Yes. Though of course both characters would have to make transformative shock rolls or have their new heads die and drop off! And, that reminds me, I forgot to add that unwilling targets are allowed a saving throw.

    Do I need to graft in both the Medusa's eyes, or is one enough for the stone gaze?
    Both eyes would not be enough. The medusa's gaze isn't just a biological feature of her eyes. (I'd make the players try this before I'd tell them it doesn't work, though.)

    So, lets say I detach Jeff's head and graft it onto the headless troll body. Will his head gain regeneration too, or will a new troll head grow back INSIDE Jeff's head and kill him?
    Haha :) Depends on whether Jeff deserves kindness or meanness. I do like the sound of the latter option though.

    What would your answers be?

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  3. Personally, my answer to each of those would be "Why don't you try it and find out?". Then I would do stuff like this if they gave it a shot.

    If my left-handed Necromancer wins a bet and trades left arms with the party fighter (Str 18), do I get a damage bonus with my dagger?
    Yeah, but it's only +2 (half bonus rounded up). You lack the leg and torso muscles needed for the full +3 damage. Both characters would loose a point of Charisma due to their strange appearance.

    How many octopus tentacles can I attach to an empty shoulder nub?
    3 normal, one giant. The real trick is learning to use them properly. Requires 4 weeks of training -1 week per Wis bonus in order to gain full use. Each tentacle has a 5% chance of being untrainable and having a mind of it's own. Once trained, one tentacle is dominant while the other two are less precise. Villagers cry out, children weep.

    If I memorize Detach twice and Graft twice, then can I switch Beezle's head with Zedrah's while they are sleeping?
    Assuming Beezle and Zedrah are also PCs and this is being done as a prank... The Necromancer has make one (two if they are far apart) Dex check to approach them and cast spells without waking them. The victims each get a Wisdom check to see if they wake up after their head is detached, giving them a chance to try and roll away or call out for help. I'd skip the transformative shock rolls for unwilling heads.

    Do I need to graft in both the Medusa's eyes, or is one enough for the stone gaze?
    Little known fact, the left eye is the Turn to Stone eye. That eye's vision is very bad though, it sees only vague blobs and movement. Even less known fact, anyone touching that eye while arcane spellcasting has a 1% chance of turning to stone. Ever wonder why there are no medusa wizards? Now you know.

    So, lets say I detach Jeff's head and graft it onto the headless troll body. Will his head gain regeneration too, or will a new troll head grow back INSIDE Jeff's head and kill him?
    Jeff gains control of the troll body as his neck grafts to it's spine. Jeff's head does not gain regeneration. Later I describe Jeff feeling pressure at the base of his neck, then a scaly growth on the left side of his neck. Next, that grows into a troll head... an angry troll head that has no control over the body.

    The troll head cannot yell, screech, or talk since it does not control the lungs. It will sometimes snap its teeth to make noise when Jeff tries to hide or have a conversation. It will try to bite and grab at food as Jeff attempts to eat. It will bite off troll fingers that get too close, but they regenerate quickly.

    Childhood friends eventually avoid making eye contact with Jeff because the constant hateful gaze and bared teeth of the troll head is unnerving during polite conversation. Villagers flee, children wet themselves. Generations later, the legend of Jeff is told across the land. He becomes a boogieman used to frighten children into good behavior.

    Anyone else want to share your answers?

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  4. Oops, I forgot to mention that over time Jeff looses his nose and both lips before eventually training himself to never, EVER, turn his head to the left.

    That was fun. Who is next in line for these answers?

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  5. Haha, brilliant answers Quibish! :)

    Personally, my answer to each of those would be "Why don't you try it and find out?". Then I would do stuff like this if they gave it a shot.
    Absolutely!

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